We went over his score which consists of three layers basically; my violin part, the background sound-world (sound of nature), and the real time processing of the violin. We spent most of the time figuring out what kind of processing he had in mind and how I can get close to it by trying out different signal processing. He was very patient as I was programming on the fly. For me, it was SUCH A TREAT, learning about hearing music and sound from a different set of ears; this is why I still remain an interpreter playing other composers' pieces. I don't want to become someone who only performs my own compositions, which tends to happen to many 'performer/composers'. I so treasure the experience of getting inside others' head-space, and I learn SO MUCH from the experience. With Michael, it was almost like a coaching or a lesson, learning the sound world I didn't know. Above is the video of us tweaking a section where he wanted me to compete with a woodpecker sound :)
Michael's descriptions on the score are very colorful and vividly visual, but in person as well. "Can you make it with more of those Japanese barbecue TWANG?", or "You know that William Schatner singing 'You're gonna die', that 'Funeral-parlor organ' sounds" (??!!) We actually listened to the Schatner song together :)
After my kids came home from school, we even worked some more while my two children had an epic fight, yelling, screaming, banging doors and crying. Michael was so gracious and pretended it didn't faze him at all, but I'm totally embarrassed! Now that he is gone, my kids stopped fighting, quietly reading and doing their homework. Oh why oh why? Actually I know, most likely they just wanted my attention...
Now I'm back to creating some patches for Kyoko Kitamura, for our "Poly-Monologue". Oh and I'd better pack, I'm leaving to Tokyo tomorrow :)